Monday, March 7, 2016

University of Colorado Boulder Sports Governance Class

Lance Armstrong answering questions at University of Colorado Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder has a class called "Introduction to Sports Governance." Taught by Professor Roger Pielke Jr., they don't shy away from the tough questions like doping in cycling or bribery in FIFA. They also like to get both sides of a story. One recent speaker was Travis Tygart, who discussed the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's efforts to clean up sports. Last Tuesday (3/1/16) Lance Armstrong gave the rebuttal.

An article on the Business Insider website states that Armstrong called the USADA "One of the most inefficient and ineffective organizations in the world." My initial reaction to that was, "Hey Lance, they were good enough to catch you!" He went on to explain that he thought the organization was necessary, but there was a lot more cheating going on that what they have been able to catch. In Lance's view, the organization needed something to justify its existence. He went on to say:

"If you have an organization that's struggling for credibility — and believe me, I was the complete dumb-ass who made it totally easy for them to do this, right? So this is my fault."

When asked if it would have been possible for him to win the Tour de France without using performance enhancing drugs, Armstrong said no. He also pointed out that PEDs are not magic potions. He still had to do a lot of hard training. Personally, I believe that he is correct when he says it would have been impossible to win the Tour de France without cheating. There were a lot of other cyclists who were caught or later admitted to cheating. What is really hard to forgive is the lengths at which he went to harm those who told the truth about his use of PEDs. Among these was circulating rumors that former TDF champion Greg LeMond had a heroin problem. Showtime has been running an interesting documentary called "Lance Armstrong: Stop at Nothing." it goes into a lot of details of the doping and has interviews with some of his critics, teammates and other people who knew him. Here is a link to a trailer for the show.

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